International private equity firm BC Partners is to buy Com Hem, Sweden’s leading TV, broadband and telephony company, from The Carlyle Group and Providence Equity Partners. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but are understood to be of the order of €1.8 billion.
Com Hem has grown to become Sweden’s largest distributor of TV services, with approximately 40 per cent of Sweden’s households connected to its network. In addition, the company has a significant and growing mix of digital TV, broadband and telephony services.
“We are delighted to be backing a strong management team at Sweden’s leading cable TV operator and provider of communication and entertainment services to almost two million households. Com Hem’s defensive growth profile and strong platform and infrastructure, should enable its continued growth, as we look to invest in expanding its digital TV and high speed broadband offering,” commented Nikos Stathopoulos, Managing Partner of BC Partners.
“BC Partners has an international telecom expertise and knows our business very well. I am convinced that we, with BC Partners as our new owner, will further develop our already strong position on the Swedish market,” suggested Tomas Franzén, CEO at Com Hem.
Carlyle and Providence acquired Com Hem from EQT in 2006 and, in the same year, they acquired UPC, which was integrated with Com Hem. Under the ownership of Carlyle and Providence, the company has invested nearly SEK 4 billion on developing the company, upgrading the network to the highest international standard and developing new services such as TV-On-Demand and broadband up to 200 Mbit/s.
Completion is expected in September 2011 subject to receiving EU regulatory approval.